A sealed shopping mall in Berhampur. Picture by Gopal Krishna Reddy
Berhampur, May 5: The Ganjam district administration has sealed two shopping malls - Bazaar Kolkata and Metro Bazaar - for not having parking space on their premises.
"The Bazaar Kolkata situated on the Urban Bank Road and the Metro Bazaar situated at Satya Narayan Temple Road Square had made no provisions for parking space. Therefore, the customers were forced to park their vehicles in the nearby slot provided by the Berhampur Municipal Corporation," said commissioner Manoj Mahanty.
These two malls were supposed to get the building plans approved by the Berhampur Development Authority.
"We had repeatedly asked them to produce the plan, but in vain," said Berhampur Development Authority secretary Dipti Mahapatra.
"Parking violation in such shopping malls causes traffic snarls on main roads. In many such buildings, visitors are not allowed to park in the basement section as the area is utilised for other purposes," said Srikant Patnaik, an advocate by profession.
"It is good that the malls have been closed for flouting norms. Defaulters should be either penalised or imprisoned," he said, adding that such crackdown could reduce the on-street parking and traffic congestion to some extent.
Though basement parking spaces of the business establishments, including market buildings, hotels and lodgings, are only meant for parking, it is openly violated in Berhampur. Spaces in many buildings meant for basement parking are being used as shops, eateries, marriage ceremonies and other events.
"The development authority and the municipal corporation must see that the designated areas are not misused," said local resident Abani Kumar Padhy.
In another development, Ganjam district collector Prem Chandra Chowdhary, who led the raid on the shopping malls yesterday, also cracked down on some private nursing homes and ice factories.
"Two private nursing homes - the New Care Hospital at Brahma Nagar and the Divine Nursing Home near New Bus Stand - were sealed as they were violating statutory rules," said Berhampur sub-collector Laxmikant Sethi.
"During the raid, it was found that there was not a single doctor present in these two nursing homes. One patient, who had been operated on at the New Care Hospital, was lying on the bed helplessly. He has been shifted to City Hospital," said Sethi.
The district administration also sealed three ice factories for working in unhygienic conditions.